Wednesday, June 12, 2013

RICO: Bulger Trial Begins in Boston

The long anticipated trial of James "Whitey" Bulger began this week in federal court in Boston.  Bulger is charged with multiple federal crimes including racketeering charges under the federal RICO statute.  Bulger, a longtime Boston underworld kingpin, allegedly cooperated with corrupt law enforcement agents to provide information against competing Boston gangsters and in return was permitted to brazenly continue his own rackets, including murder.
Prosecutors allege that Bulger murdered 19 people dating back to the 1970's.  His cooperation with law enforcement is alleged to have continued for years while Bulger continued his criminal activities including these alleged murders.  Bulger and his attorneys have denied the charges.
Bulger disappeared in 1996 when he learned that we would be charged criminally.  He managed to evade law enforcement for about 15 years until his arrest in Santa Monica, California, where he had settled.  There is dispute about whether corrupt law enforcement officials tipped him about the pending charges or whether he learned about them from news sources and then fled.
The trial is expected to last a number of months.  Among the government's witnesses are racketeers who allegedly cooperated in criminal activity with Bulger.  These witnesses are testifying against the defendant as part of cooperation agreements with the government.
The case has the potential to expose a significant amount of information about law enforcement corruption and organized crime in the Boston area.
Bulger, who is 83, faces life in prison if convicted. 

No comments: